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News for April 14, 2021

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

DSM puts up $100M to launch personalized health startup Hologram

A new personalized health and nutrition company called Hologram Sciences (Boston, Massachusetts, and New York, New York) has started up with $100 million in backing from Royal DSM (Heerlen, Netherlands). With a proprietary digital platform at its core, Hologram will launch consumer-facing brands that combine health diagnostics, digital coaching and personalized nutrition solutions to address a variety of health needs. DSM says that as solutions are validated in the market, they’ll become available to its customers. Hologram will also incubate products with DSM customers and partners, the company says.


Good Catch nets $26.4M to take plant-based seafood to new markets

Gathered Foods (Austin, Texas), maker of Good Catch plant-based seafood, has $26.4 million in new bridge funding to help it ramp up product innovation and grow its international retail and foodservice footprint, starting with Europe. The investment came from Louis Dreyfus Company, Unovis Asset Management, Big Idea Ventures and others. Good Catch sells plant-based tuna pouches and frozen entrees across the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands and Spain. Last year, it opened a state-of-the-art production facility and secured a distribution partnership with Bumble Bee Foods to scale through new distribution channels.


Sun-Maid buys Plum Organics from Campbell

As part of its ongoing strategy to pare down its portfolio and focus on core categories, Campbell Soup Co. has sold organic baby and kids food brand Plum Organics (Emeryville, California) to Sun-Maid Growers of California (Fresno, California). Plum and its portfolio of certified organic foods for children are a natural fit for Sun-Maid, according to leaders of the iconic brand, which sells raisins and other dried fruit snacks. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.


With $24M, Mission Barns looks to scale up cultivated animal fats

Hoping to be a game-changer for the meat alternative sector, Mission Barns (San Francisco, California) is ready to scale up its cultivated fat technology platform and build a pilot manufacturing plant with $24 million in series A funding. Mission Barns says it can grow pure animal fat in a lab, using just a handful of animal cells and a fraction of the natural resources required to raise livestock. It plans to use those animal fats to lend flavor, mouthfeel and meatiness to plant-based meat products, which it will develop on its own and through collaborations with plant-based partners. A number of food and agriculture investors participated in the round, including Lever VC, Gullspång Re:Food, Humboldt Fund, Green Monday Ventures, Enfini Ventures and an unnamed European meat company.


Men’s health startup Manual brings in $30M

On a mission to empower men to take better care of themselves, Manual (London, England) has collected $30 million in series A funding to develop new products and expand across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Manual markets vitamins, skin care, blood tests, and treatments for hair loss and erectile dysfunction directly to men in Europe and Brazil. U.S. investors Sonoma Brands, Waldencast and FJ Labs, and European investors Felix Capital, Cherry Ventures and the GISEV Family Office provided the funding.


Smartway secures $11.8M to help stores scale back food waste

Technology company Smartway (Nantes, France) has closed a €10 million (about $11.8 million) investment from Supernova Invest, Evolem Start, Holnest, IDIA Capital Investissement and UNEXO. Launched in 2004, Smartway currently offers AI-powered solutions to help more than 400 French retailers waste less food and increase profitability. Its technology identifies products that are nearing their expiration date, decides whether they should be discarded or donated, then prints discount labels or navigates the administrative procedures for donating. With the new funding, Smartway hopes to enhance its technology and add thousands more supermarkets across Europe by 2025.


Getir gets $300M to grow 10-minute grocery delivery in Europe

Just two months after finalizing a $128 million series B round, grocery delivery company Getir (Istanbul, Turkey) has raised $300 million more to fund its expansion into new European markets. Getir delivers 1,500 products to people in an average of 10 minutes. Currently, it operates in Turkey and London and plans to expand to Germany, France and the Netherlands. The new round, which valued Getir at $2.6 billion, was led by Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global.


Contract manufacturer INW changes ownership, adds supplement firm Bee Health

Innovations in Nutrition + Wellness (Dallas, Texas), a provider of R&D, manufacturing and packaging for wellness and nutrition brands, has been bought by a group of investors led by Cornell Capital, together with INW company leadership. Terms of the deal with its previous owner, Rosewood Private Investments, weren’t disclosed. Simultaneously, INW acquired supplement maker Bee Health (Yorkshire, England). “It’s currently one of the few scaled players in the region with capabilities across all key product formats and specialization across tablets, capsules and softgels,” INW said in a statement. Together, they’ll be able to expand manufacturing capabilities, add new product forms and expand geographically.


New investors join mushroom innovator Ecovative’s $60M round

Ecovative Design (Green Island, New York) has already found commercial success using mushroom mycelium to develop replacements for foam packaging, furniture, leather and bacon (through a spinout food company called Atlast). Now it’s got eyes on new applications for mycelium and has $60 million in funding to pursue them, with the goal of becoming a white label supplier of mushroom-based materials for a more sustainable planet. New investors including Viking Global Investors joined Senator Investment Group, AiiM Partners, Trousdale Ventures and others in the latest round.


Simple Botanics sells to DTC e-commerce company

Marking its second acquisition in the last year, e-commerce holding company Brand Holdings (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) has bought Simple Botanics (Chicago, Illinois), maker of herbal teas and organic bars. Brand Holdings, which was formed in July of last year, acquires and grows direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies focused on health and wellness, sports nutrition, beauty and functional foods. Last year, it bought sports nutrition brand Dr. Emil Nutrition. With Simple Botanics, the plan is to accelerate growth of current product lines across all retail channels and add new ones.


Pandemic pivot brings SnackMagic a $15M series A

Craft Ventures and Luxor Capital have invested in a $15 million series A for snack box startup SnackMagic (New York, New York). When the pandemic hit in March 2020, founder Shaunak Amin pivoted from his previous venture Stadium, a lunch delivery service targeting corporate offices. The company reworked its platform to support the work-from-home trend, launching a service that businesses can use to deliver curated or customized snack boxes to employees, clients or business partners. With the funding, SnackMagic plans to scale its warehouse capacity and logistics support, and extend into other kinds of gifting categories.


Tempeh brand Better Nature leverages crowdfunding for $2.2M round

Two-year-old plant-based company Better Nature (London, England) brought in £1.6 million (about $2.2 million) on the equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs to help with marketing and product development efforts. The maker of tempeh-based products that are stocked in more than 200 retailers says it plans to launch a new range of meat alternatives in June. Supporters of the round included Ascension Ventures Good Food Fund and Kale United.


Online vegan grocer TheVeganKind attracts $4.8M

Literacy Capital has led a £3.5 million (about $4.8 million) series A funding round for TheVeganKind (Glasgow, U.K.), which started as a vegan subscription delivery box service in 2013 before launching an online supermarket in 2016. It now operates a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and offers thousands of plant-based food, beauty and lifestyle products for next-day delivery in the U.K. With the new funding, the company says it’s looking to grow with new retail and consumer experiences.


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